More American teenagers are vaping, while their use of alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, heroin, and opioid pills is dropping, according to University of MI researchers, the Associated Press reported.
The Monitoring the Future Survey, conducted by the University of MI, finds that one in five high school seniors said they'd vaped within the past month.
The survey of 44,482 students from 392 public and private schools was funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and conducted by researchers at the University of MI.
The percentage of Class 12 grade students who reported use of nicotine in the past 30 days significantly increased to 28.5 in 2018 from 23.7 in 2017. A similar, though less drastic, increase in cannabis vaping was also observed; the numbers increased from 9.5-percent among 12th graders in 2017 to 13.1-percent in 2018.
"What we are seeing is a change in the patterns of drug taking among teenagers in that they are the lowest that we've seen for many years", said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded the report.
In an advisory Tuesday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said parents, teachers, health professionals and government officials must take "aggressive steps" to keep children from using e-cigarettes. Even as other forms of tobacco use declined among students, e-cigarettes continuously bucked that trend. "While we have celebrated our success in lowering their rates of tobacco use in recent years, we must continue aggressive educational efforts on all products containing nicotine".
Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration, facing mounting pressure to act on the rising popularity of vaping devices, announced sweeping new restrictions on flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Federal officials called the rise in vaping alarming.
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Other e-liquid flavors seemed to be squarely aimed at kids, with packages that resembled frosted cookies and sour sweets. But that's not quite as beneficial as it seems since the teens are replacing drug use with vaping and alcohol.
Interestingly, regular tobacco use remained at its lowest point with only 3.6 per cent of high school seniors smoking daily, compared to 22.4 per cent two decades ago. Other e-cigarettes use "e-juice" or nicotine liquids that not only come in appealing flavors but are often packaged to look like candy.
The federally funded survey released Monday is conducted by University of MI researchers and has been operating since 1975.
The government's top doctor is taking aim at the best-selling electronic cigarette brand in the US, urging swift action to prevent Juul and similar vaping brands from addicting millions of teenagers.
Use of prescription opioids and tranquilisers also declined in 2018.
Use among middle schoolers also increased almost 50 percent.
Fewer teens report binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row).